2014 CPES Annual Report
Virginia Tech. Center for Power Electronics Systems
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Over the past two decades, CPES has secured research funding from major industries, such as GE, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Alstom, ABB, Toyota, Nissan, Raytheon, and MKS, as well as from government agencies including the NSF, DOE, DARPA, ONR, U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force, in research pursuing high-density system design. CPES has developed unique high-temperature packaging technology critical to the future powerelectronic industry. In the HDI mini-consortium, the goal of high power density will be pursued following two coupled paths, both leveraging the availability of wide-bandgap power semiconductor, as well as high-temperature passive components and ancillary functions. The switching frequency will be pushed as high as component technologies, thermal management, and reliability permit. At the same time, the maximum component temperatures will be pushed as high as component technologies, thermal management, and reliability permit. The emergence of wide‐bandgap semiconductors such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) makes it possible to realize power switches that operate at frequency beyond 5 MHz and temperature beyond 200° C. As the switching frequency increases, switching noise is shifted to higher frequency and can be filtered with small passive components, leading to improved power density. Higher operating temperatures enable increased power density and applications under harsh environments, such as military systems, transportation systems, and outdoor industrial and utility systems.